Juan Diego Stifles East, 10-3 (+video)
03.08.2018 - By Matt Anderson

The No. 1 Soaring Eagle squared-off against the No. 5 East High Leopards last night in what was an impressive showing for Juan Diego.

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The Juan Diego defense looked sharp early, forcing ill-advised shots and passes from the Leopard offense. East was still shaking off the early-season rust, as the Juan Diego offense had put in five early goals to go up 5-0 by the end of the first quarter before East knew what hit them. “We came out with a lot more confidence on offense. We moved the ball around better, we didn’t just jam it inside like we like to do,” said Juan Diego head coach John Holmes.

That early run would prove to be key for the Soaring Eagle, as the rest of the quarters’ were fairly evenly matched.

In what would be the theme of the night, the Juan Diego defense limited to East to no more than two goals each quarter. “On defense we put a little bit more pressure on East so that we got the ball back on our end,” said Holmes. “That was the key for us. We walked out of Brighton saying, ‘If we want to win, we’ve got to put more pressure on their offense.'”

The Juan Diego ride was particularly impressive, holding East to 9-for-24 on their clears. “The attackmen were keeping their space and hustling to the next ball,” Holmes said. “I think any coach will tell you, you make them throw three or four times the probability goes up that you’re going to win the ride.”

The East defense had a better showing in the second, third and fourth quarters as they limited Juan Diego to 5 goals in those three quarters. Offensively, however, East struggled to find their rhythm.

East goalie Dalton Hoopes had an impressive night, turning away numerous point-blank shots and helping direct his defense. Juan Diego defenseman Bo Caldwell looked impressive, generally winning any match-up he was given.

East hopes to rebound against Pleasant Grove tonight. Juan Diego will next face Fremont on Friday.